Meeting fire codes in zero-lot-line applications, Type III buildings, load-bearing party walls, and roof deck firewalls require fire- resistance ratings, including OSB sheathing that can be specified in these applications.
Developers and builders of zero-lot-line single family homes and Type III (podium) multifamily buildings face a two-fold challenge: what kind of fire-rated sheathing should they specify to meet code that also helps meet the project’s budget and schedule goals?
For architects, that question can be even broader. For example, what exterior wall assembly can they specify to provide more flexibility in designing wall openings, say for larger windows? How can sheathing better support the building’s framing and bracing requirements?
ICC Evaluated Solution
Many code officials are familiar with a proven PS2-rated structural sheathing solution now in service in hundreds of U.S. buildings today. It’s an ICC Evaluation Service evaluated (ESR-1365) exterior wall and roof deck component that’s pre-qualified with:
The OSB panel is created by applying a proprietary non-combustible, fiberglass-reinforced Pyrotite® layer to the OSB panel. The product, LP® FlameBlock® Fire-Rated OSB Sheathing manufactured by LP Building Products, blends structural performance with fire resistance in a single panel.
This combination is a positive development for architects like Michael Cody, AIA, principal of FitzGerald Associates Architects of Chicago. “For certain types of projects, we’re required to meet specific fire resistance ratings in line with building codes. We started using FlameBlock sheathing for its acceptance in the marketplace. People know it. It’s accepted in the building code.”
Cody and other designers are specifying FlameBlock sheathing for a variety of applications, including:
The lateral bracing characteristics help architects, owners, developers, and builders think beyond traditional construction methods without sacrificing fire safety and aesthetics. Washington, DC-area multifamily property developer Rick Morris, senior vice president of Avalon Bay, says, “We’re building five and six-story podium buildings. FlameBlock sheathing helps us go high and provide more density.”
Project Manager Drew Dewey of The Dragas Companies, a Virginia Beach multifamily property developer explains, “When we’ve used fire-rated plywood in the past, it tends to become damaged by water. FlameBlock stays stiff like you expect it to.” An LP official reports that FlameBlock sheathing was recently weather-exposed for more than six months on a Nashville construction project with no adverse effects.
As Morris mentioned, code officials are likely to use FlameBlock sheathing in applications where space and density are critical considerations. Zero-lot-line homes and multifamily developments are immediate beneficiaries. “With Type III construction becoming more and more prevalent, you can expect LP FlameBlock Fire-rated OSB Sheathing to be used more and more. It makes construction easier,” observes Rohit Anand, principal architect at KTGY Group, Inc., in Tysons, Virginia.
Technical Guide Available
Code officials can expect to see FlameBlock panels specified in more podium and zero-lot-line projects not only for ICC-certification and broad rating-agency approval, but also the construction ease Anand refers to.
Code professionals interested in learning more about FlameBlock OSB fire-rated structural panels are advised to click here for a comprehensive 16-page Technical Guide.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the sponsor and do not necessarily reflect those of the International Code Council, or Hanley Wood.
Big builder market share has doubled in the last 25 years and now represents about 50 percent of housing starts nationwide – and even 75 percent in some major metro areas. These mega-builders have huge budgets for both land development and marketing. It’s increasingly difficult for small and medium-sized builders to compete, but LP is committed to helping them prosper.Continue Reading
To better serve its customers in areas of order accuracy and delivery predictability, LP has set some of the industry’s most aspirational supply chain goals. Senior leaders meet regularly with experts at Gartner, arguably the nation’s best consulting firm in the realm of supply chain optimization. The aim is to apply best practices in procurement, logistics and working capital across more than $1 billion of addressable spend.
For weather-resistant barriers (WRBs), ASTM has developed rigorous tests for water resistance and water penetration, plus an air barrier assembly test. But an equally important test is ASTM E96, which measures water vapor permeability over a 24-hour period.
When people talk about home “affordability” it boils down to one number: the asking price. But home “attainability” is a more complex equation. Attainability refers to a prospective buyer’s ability to find an entry-level home (no easy task these days), obtain a loan and pay for 30 years of ancillary costs like utilities, maintenance and insurance.